Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS)

Center for the Study of Language and Society

Socio-indexical phonetic features in Heritage Italian: VOT in Toronto

Dienstag, 20.02.2018, 18:15 Uhr

Leonie Cornips

Das Forum Language and Society ist eine Reihe von Gastvorträgen zu Themen der Soziolinguistik. Doktorierende der GSH können sich die Teilnahme als Zuhörende mit 0,25 ECTS pro Vortrag anrechnen lassen.

Veranstaltende: Forum Language and Society
Redner, Rednerin: Prof. Dr. Naomi Nagy, University of Toronto
Datum: 20.02.2018
Uhrzeit: 18:15 - 19:45 Uhr
Ort: F-122
Lerchenweg 36
3012 Bern
Merkmale: Öffentlich

This study (conducted in collaboration with Rosalba Nodari and Chiara Celata) examines cross-generational transmission of an inherent (as opposed to contact-induced) sociophonetic variable in a heritage language context, as part of the “Heritage Language Variation and Change” in Toronto Project. Voiceless stop aspiration is a sociophonetic variable in Calabrian Italian, indexing socio-cultural values, while it may mark English influence in a heritage context. We investigate the production of VOT by three generations of Calabrian Italians (immigrants and the next two generations) in Toronto, via acoustic and auditory analysis of conversational speech in Calabrian Italian. The heritage and the host language both have long-lag VOT in their phonetic repertoires, but differ in phonological distribution of the feature. We show that, in heritage Calabrian Italian in Toronto, VOT is cross-generationally stable in the English (stressed) context, but has subtly changed in the Calabrian (unstressed) context. In contrast, we see robust cross-generational shift on the phonological level.